LattePanda

I picked up a new toy this week to replace my aging and rarely-used Raspberry Pi 3 (original). It came with Windows 10 already on it and I immediate went to the forums for a howto on installing Linux. There is a guide on how to install Ubuntu 16.04 but it seems to require a lot of extra steps (special kernel, etc).  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it with OpenSUSE. At worst it would fail and I would be left with Ubuntu.

To my surprise, it worked and it was easier than the steps that were provided. The thing with the LattePanda is that it is UEFI-only.  There is no legacy boot mode so if your distro doesn’t have a UEFI-enabled installer, then you are out of luck.

Edit: It’s not just UEFI only, it’s Trusted UEFI only.  That means that if your distro doesn’t have a trusted EFI key, then the bios won’t even recognize it. Canonical/Ubuntu, Redhat/CentOS/Fedora, and SUSE/OpenSUSE have trusted EFI keys and work. Mostly, I think because they have corporate sponsorship and they have a vested interest in working with hardware vendors.

Here’s the basic steps:

  1. Flash the “Ubuntu” bios (this will allow you to boot the Linux USB key)
  2. Burn the OpenSUSE iso to a USB 3.0 Key
  3. When trying to boot with the key, it froze when the installer brought up the GUI.
    Workaround: Reboot and add “textmode=1” to the boot loader for the installer.

Screenshot at 2018-08-18 15-23-30

  1. Install using ncurses installer. It’s a little clunky but all of the options are there.

ss3
5. Reboot after the installer finishes. Everything is as it should be. No more freezes, no special kernel, everything works great.

One last thing. The LattePanda has both HDMI and composite. Linux assumes composite out is Display 1 and HDMI is Display 2.  If you are running headless, then this is fine. If not, you will need to with your desktop environment to disable Display 1. I tend to use the i3 desktop for work and this was easy for me to workaround. It can be a hassle for others. I think this will be the case no matter which distro you use.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks great.. but if you don’t own a monitor that uses composite out, how would you even disable it? I only have a monitor that uses hdmi and where opensuse boots to a blank screen (because hdmi is secondary). I have ssh access, so is there a way to disable composite through a terminal?

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    1. There is a way but it’s not perfect. You can use xrandr to disable the composite video. I wrote a little script that did this for me that I then attached to lightdm’s configuration so that it always did it on boot. I’m sorry though that I have since decommissioned my LattePanda for the time being and do not have that script any longer.

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  2. Hi Evans,

    thank you, I installed on my LP. but do you know what I can do to make the touchscreen 7″ (provided for LP) work in OpenSuse?.

    Like

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